Marriage would seem wonderfully endearing to the single man or woman who has in no way married, and possibly to the divorced individual who hankers for something to arrest their longing for companionship or sexual release, but marriage for virtually all of us is quite a tough function at instances. (And I can say this even as a representative of my wife!). We carry so a lot of ourselves into our marriages – which is both a good and a undesirable point.
We carry in expectations of being ‘met’ by our partners: that they will satisfy us sexually, not invest too significantly funds, not seek out to handle us, that they will want to spend time with us. We also deliver in expectations of what our partners need to deliver to us: their virtues of diligence and moderation and sanctity and kindness – to title just 4. We are disappointed when they don’t measure up to our previously unconscious expectations – that have now become conscious due to our encroaching annoyance.
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But it is “old” in the sense in that it is the more primitive part of our Brain. There are two things every couple should know about the Old Brain. The Mr. Magoo of the Brain Set, First, the Old Brain is the Mr. Magoo of the Brain Set. It has a dimmed, fuzzy impression of the outside world. Like the mostly blind Mr. Magoo, the Old Brain constantly confuses people and events.
The problem with this, is that we start making assumptions, and that gets us into trouble. We assume they are upset at us for this or that. Or perhaps we assume their bad mood is because of us. The truth of the matter is that not everything is about us, and therefore, we need to step back, and not take everything personally.
How does that affect us? It basically sets our expectations about what our marriages should be like and if they are not, then, divorce is inevitable. Which is a completely false expectation and will only set us up for failure.
Finance: This plays a major role in relationships and marriages. A case where the other partner spends without consideration always creates problems in the home, sometimes leading to separation or even divorce.
Why should you be one of them? You can avoid most pitfalls with the right information and save yourself a lot of unnecessary heartache simply by being informed, so, consider reading books that deal with this issue or consulting a relationship expert, who might be able to point out to you exactly what you are doing wrong and how you can fix it.
Most people don’t get married believing that insurmountable conflicts with their spouse are going to arise over the course of their relationships. Consequently, this often means that when issue resulting in conflict do arise, they take couple by surprise and can lead to disillusionment – or worse.
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Words such as, “I felt foolish when you said those things about me in front of your friends!” are much more acceptable because they do not attack the self-worth of your partner while at the same time they do bring up the issues of conflict.
What keeps people in conflict? Too often the conflict has escalated to the point that conflict is the conflict. The trigger point of the disagreement has long been forgotten and suddenly the arguments bring unhealthy elements from the past or projections of future events, neither of which have any bearing on the original underlying issue.
Shifting the focus from the negative aspects of the conflict to the potential opportunity it presents changes the atmosphere of a marriage. A couple that begins to communicate in this way will be less likely to lash out in conflict and perpetuate negative behaviors. The nature of communication should always be in an effort to understand and move forward.
Where do you go from here? Every attempt at conversation seems to launch in to another round of arguments. Take a deep breath and take a step back from the situation. If you find yourself in a heated discussion or a knock down drag out fight, it’s OK to ask for a time out.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t work to achieve an answer to a marriage conflict even if you’re not married. In fact maybe it will be a bit easier to settle. It takes two people to work through any marriage conflict. So you need to see if both of you are willing to work out problems.
Therefore when something happens “now” that is similar to something that happened years ago as a child, the Old Brain (that controls emotion and reactivity) connects to the prior experience as information about the present event, but does not experience the old experience as “old.” The emotion that was present then is brought into the present experience and we experience the combined emotion of then and now.
In this series of articles, I’d like to share with you principles for handling any conflict. Here’s the first principle for dealing with any conflict. You’ve got to be honest with each other in a marriage.
Whenever, he was really frustrated, he would just disappear. He really knew how to hide as a way of protecting. The Old Brain knows how to fight. How do you fight? Argue, yell, out reason, withhold affection, refuse to talk, get passive aggressive, blame, accuse, criticize, etc, etc, etc.
Marriage conflict is par for the course but does not have to end in divorce. Conflict can be transformed into harmony if you are willing to find new solutions to problems. Admit when you are wrong and apologize. Most of us refuse to believe we have done anything wrong when the finger gets pointed at us.
Physical abuse, fertility issues, cheating, or just plain boredom or lack of love. These can break the trust that is so essential to a relationship. So how do you save a marriage that has reached this point?.
You’re sure to go through many problems in those years, and how you handle those as a couple can show if you will make a good couple in marriage. Obviously if you fight about those problems and feel like you don’t want to be together, don’t get married. It seems like a simple idea, but one that isn’t taken to heart by many people very often.
If you can learn to do this, you will find that you don’t get upset or angry near as often. Let your spouse be who they are. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with you. So step back, and let things go. Not everything is a personal attack on you.
Finally, the Old Brain knows how to submit. Submitting, interestingly, can be a protective strategy. When a wolf challenges the head of the wolf pack for leadership, there is a terrific fight. Eventually, the losing wolf will roll over on his back an expose his neck to the conquering wolf. The conquering wolf will place his jaws around the submitting wolf’s neck, but won’t kill it.
When you look back at the good times in your life and you miss the excitement and enthusiasm you want it back. But how do you get there from here? It has been such a long time since feeling that way, the roaring flames of romance has long since been reduced to mere smoldering embers.
Welcome to the real world of marriage and long term relationships. Peter Devries (Editor, Novelist, Satirist and Linguist, 1910-1993), said: “The difficulty with marriage is that we fall in love with a personality, but we must live with a character.” Greatest truth said about marriage, and what it takes to make marriage a life long time endeavor.
Communicate, communicate, communicate, Don’t make your spouse have to be a mind reader. As in business and among friends, poor communication (usually the lack of communication) is commonly the cause of many conflicts in personal relationships. Talk with your spouse and then talk again. Intimacy by communication is highly valued by wives.